Intermediate Deity
Symbol Thyrsus, a staff tipped with a pine cone and twisted with a vine
Home Plane Olympus
Alignment Chaotic Neutral
Portfolio Mirth, Madness, Wine, Fertility, Theater
Worshipers Satyrs, Fuans, Revelers, Rogues
Cleric Alignments CE, CG, CN
Domains Chaos, Destruction, Madness
Favored Weapon Quarterstaff
Played by Admin

Deity of wine, mirth, and madness, Dionysus (dye-oh-nye-sus) appears as a young man carrying an amphora of wine, a lyre, and a thyrsus. Like Demeter, he is an agricultural god with power over fertility of both land and creatures, but his portfolio is limited to vines, wine, and wine’s influence on mortals. Dionysus is called Women-Maddener because of his ability to inspire frenzy in his worshipers (particularly women). He is the son of Zeus by a mortal woman.

Dionysus’s “dogma” is more of a way of life—a life of whimsy and abandon, free from any fetters of custom, law, inhibition, or morality. Freedom is a cardinal virtue of Dionysus’s faith and a higher principle than good or evil. All too often, drunken revelry turns into drunken savagery, but Dionysus condemns neither. Mortals worship Dionysus whenever they drink wine, pouring out a little of their drink in his honor. Dionysus, like Demeter, is also the center of a mystery cult.

Clergy and Temples
Clerics devoted to Dionysus are always members of the Orphic Mysteries. Wearing burgundy or purple garments, they lead the ecstatic rites celebrating Dionysus, which usually involve heavy drinking and feasting. Rites in the Orphic Mysteries often include tearing a bull’s flesh apart and eating it raw, in imitation of Zagreus’s demise at the hands of the Titans. Dionysus’s temples are often built in caves, because the infant Zagreus was born in a cave.

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